and the Artwork of the Future

16 October 2020 to 5 April 2021

Max Klinger (1857–1920), a pioneer of German Symbolism, was one of the most prominent and controversial artists in the international art world around 1900. His work comprises paintings, sculptures and a large and varied body of prints. Inspired by Wagner’s idea of the gesamtkunstwerk, Klinger sought to overcome the division of the creative disciplines and to fuse painting, sculpture, architecture and even music into a single harmonious whole.

His ‘singular fantasticism’ and his vividly imagined, technically brilliant prints earned him great admiration early on in his career. In his paintings and sculptures, he turned away from the stale academicism and idealisation that governed figuration at the time and embraced a daring naturalism in the depiction of the naked human body that shocked his contemporaries. His novel approach played an important role in the modern conceptualisation of the human figure.

«To feel what one sees, to give what one feels, is what defines the artist's life.» Max Klinger

At the heart of the exhibition, which presents some 200 works from all areas of Klinger’s practice, is the monumental Beethoven sculpture of 1902. This extraordinary work is widely regarded as the epitome of the late romantic veneration of the composer and forms a spectacular visual highlight to mark the close of the Beethoven anniversary year of 2020.

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Admission tickets

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Buy Print@home time slot tickets (incl. VRS) online!

€11/ €7 (concessions)

Due to changes in the COVID infection rate, there is always the risk of the exhibition being canceled on short notice.
More information


Visitors may take photographs in this exhibition. Share them on social media and use the official hashtags.
Exceptions are marked accordingly in the exhibition.

Show bibliography
  1. Max Klinger, Beethoven, 1902, and Die neue Salome (detail), 1893, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, photo: © InGestalt/Michael Ehritt
  2. Max Klinger, Die Blaue Stunde, Ausschnitt, 1890, Öl auf Leinwand, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Foto: © PUNCTUM / Bertram Kober
  3. Max Klinger, Beethoven, 1902, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, photo © InGestalt/Michael Ehritt
  4. Max Klinger, Evocation (Nr. 19 auf Blatt 9 der Mappe Brahmsphantasie), 1890 Radierung, LETTER Stiftung © LETTER Stiftung, Köln
  5. Max Klinger, The Crucifxion of Christ, 1890, oil on canvas, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Foto: © InGestalt/Michael Ehritt
  6. Max Klinger im Atelier vor dem Beethoven, Leipzig 1900/01, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Foto © Hans Franke & Co., Berlin
  7. Max Klinger, Siena, o. J. (um 1889), Aquarell und Deckweiß auf Papier, Städtische Wessenberg-Galerie © Städtische Wessenberg-Galerie Konstanz
  8. Max Klinger, Mädchen am Strande (Villa Albers), 1883/84, Öl auf Leinwand, Hamburger Kunsthalle, © bpk / Hamburger Kunsthalle

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4
53113 Bonn
T +49 228 9171–200

Opening hours

Mondays closed
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
(including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)